Stretches for Preventing Injuries
In a job that keeps you moving and active, it’s important to do everything you can to stay safe, healthy and injury-free. The reality is that injuries like sprains and strains can happen more easily than we’d want. But there’s good news: a simple stretching routine can go a long way in lowering your risk of getting hurt, helping you recover from an injury, and boosting your overall health.
Try to fit these stretches into your day. Aim to spend at least 5 minutes stretching before your shift starts, and consider adding in some stretches during your breaks, too. If a specific area is prone to injury, like a knee or an elbow, focus on stretches that target that spot.
Here are some excellent stretches you can add to your daily routine:
- Neck Stretch: Gently tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear toward your shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each side. Be careful not to pull on your head or neck.
- Shoulder: Bring one arm across your chest. Use your opposite hand to gently pull the arm closer to your chest. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each side.
- Tricep Stretch: Raise one arm overhead and bend your elbow. Use your other hand to push down on your bent elbow gently. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each side.
- Hamstring Stretch: Sit with one leg extended and the other bent so the sole of your foot rests against your inner thigh. Lean forward to reach for your toes. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each leg.
- Wrist Flexor Stretch: Extend one arm in front of you with the palm facing up. Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each hand.
- Hand and Finger Stretch: Extend your arm in front of you with the palm facing down. Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back.
- Are there specific parts of your body that are more prone to injury in your job? How could target stretching help those areas?
- How do you feel physically and mentally after you’ve done a stretching routine? Have you noticed any changes in your overall well-being?